Housing – more lies, more crisis

New figures dragged out of the government under the Freedom of Information Act prove it.

Socialist Worker

Housing – more lies, more crisis

Despite all the promises from the government and the talk from Minister Simon Coveney NOTHING is being done to solve the housing crisis.
Last year the number of new homes built in the State was just 2076, compared to the Government’s lying claim of 15,000.
And out of that 2076 total there were only 848 estate houses and apartments compared to an official Department of Housing estimate of 8,729.
There is a word for ‘estimates’ that are that wrong – it is ‘lie’.
In Dublin where the population is most concentrated only 68 scheme homes and apartments were completed last year, and in three local authorities, Longford, Leitrim and Roscommon there were no housing completions at all in 2016, while a further eight counties recorded fewer than 10 completions.
Ireland’s housing stock has been failing to keep pace with the population throughout this century but the last five years – 2011- 16, the years of the Fine Gael/Labour Government – were the most appalling.
A Census 2016 special profile on housing in Ireland found that the country increased its housing supply by just 0.4% in the five-year period of 2011 to 2016 (from 1,994,845 million units to 2,003,645 million units – an increase of 8.800).
Meanwhile, Ireland’s population was recorded at 4,761,865 in 2016 compared to 4,588,252 in 2011 – an increase of 173.613.
Consequences
What are the consequences of this dreadful state of affairs? They are things we all know and, given the Government’s record, they are inevitable:
Soaring rents – up 30% in Dublin. Very nice for the nearly 30% of TDs who are landlords.
More and more families in emergency accommodation – over 7,100 including 2400 children in January of this year.
More evictions and threats of evictions
More and more people on the streets – a 56% increase in rough sleepers between 2015 and 2016.
And what are the Government doing about it? Well Minister Simon Coveney says he is ‘hoping’. Last week he said he ‘hoped’ to be building 25,000 units a year by the end of next year. Some hope!.
The bitter truth is that there will no real change in this situation till we kick out the landlord parties (Fine Gael and Fianna Fail); stop relying on the ‘free’ market for solutions; do something drastic about the 180,000 vacant properties in the State; impose rent controls and launch a major project of public house building.
A good start as Socialist Worker has always argued would be to declare a National Housing Emergency, because that is actually what we have got.

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